presents in playsilks

I wrapped Fiona's gifts in playsilks this year and I think it turned out so cute. The bright colors make it so festive! Fiona received her modest gifts so graciously. Looking through these pictures made me tear up a bit. I am so proud of the person she's becoming.

We opened gifts right before her birthday meal of chicken nuggets, french fries and ketchup. (Ketchup is the important part!) While we ate, we went around the table and told stories about Fiona and talked about how much we love her. All the way from Fell's Point to California, to the moon and all the way back a million times, that's how much. As Elijah would say.


Tomorrow, I have a post for you about Fiona's Day, the board book in the picture above, so come back to take a look.

countdown to three

Fiona's third birthday is a little over two months away! (What?! Can't be.) With my sweet Elsa requiring much bouncing and nursing and wearing, the only way I am going to get the crafting done that I desperately want to get done is to work slowly and mindfully a bit every day. I have plans for a sweet and simple celebration for my girl and I have no plans to stay up till the wee hours of the morning the night before, so I'm getting to work! Now! Start early. Work slowly. Work often.

Above fabric is Children at Play by Sarah Jane. Love.

handmade holidays: personalized sketch books

What a crappy week we're having! Fiona has croup. At one point, her fever went up to 103.8! She was shaking. It was horrible. She is finally perking up a bit today. Though, after 4 days at home, despite being a bit of a homebody, even I feel like I'm going to lose my mind cooped (crouped?) up in this house. Sheldon suggested that we take a ride to the drive thru Starbucks. Good idea! I used to do that with Fiona during her early, colicky days. But before we go, another simple little project from Christmas...

So, I went a little crazy this year with the Martha Stewart alphabet stickers. They are such a fun way to personalize without having to get out every crafting material in the (already messy) house. It's nice to have the kids make something for each other and since Elijah's sisters love to draw (barring the one whose only interest is nursing at this point), sketch books seemed like a great idea.

Elijah placed the letters for each of the girls names on the front cover and then included a note and drawing on the first page of each book. He is such a sweet and thoughtful boy. For several nights, after Fiona went to bed, Elijah worked hard on each book creating a personal message and drawing especially for each sister.

handmade holidays: brag books

There hasn't been much 'making' these last couple months, but as everyone keeps reminding me, I have been doing the most important kind of making of all! A baby! Nonetheless, I wanted there to be some kind of creativity in my gift-giving. These albums are all more hand-assembled than handmade, so they were way less pressure and I could work on them while doing a million other things. There is nothing as distracting as having a newborn in the house.

What I underestimated is how much time it would take to look through three years of photos to pick out the best for each person. Holy crap, I take a lot of pictures. Also, the art of photo albuming is much different than blogging when it comes to the kind of picture that works. As in, there should be faces in the photos. :)

The ones for my mom were personalized with an E for Elsa and an F for Fiona. Oh, and birds, to boot! Have I mentioned my mom loves birds? I got the albums here and the gold letters are by Martha Stewart Crafts. I bought them locally.

Cute, right?

homemade holidays: peppermint bark

This year, we made a version of last year's dark chocolate bark and peppermint bark for friends and family. Depending on when you saw us this year, you either got peppermint bark or cranberry pistachio with sea salt. (I'll post a recipe for that later in the week!) Both were delicious, though I have a soft spot for anything seasonal, so peppermint bark is where it's at this time of year. Fiona agrees.

For those of you who didn't get your annual Altschuler chocolate yet this year, don't lose hope. I have four bars of semisweet in the kitchen just waiting to be melted. And for those of you I will inevitably miss, I promise you two jars next year. How long can I use the newborn excuse for my disorganization?

tiny versions of things

I like to think of the abundant number of annual train gardens as proof that I am far from the only person who has a fascination with miniatures. Look at those little trees! And that tiny traffic light! I want one! Give it to me!

It's clear that I passed on the gene to Fiona.

This is the train garden at The Shops at Kenilworth. The same one I visited with my parents and brother growing up. I love the Baltimore theme. They even included the Grand Prix this year!